Mill Creek Trail

MODERATE 64 reviews
#3 of 59 trails in

Mill Creek Trail is a 11.5 mile out and back trail located near Wofford Heights, California and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2851 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

mountain biking

trail running

horseback riding
8 days ago

Mill Creek Trail review

I was looking for a trail ride on horseback outside of Bakersfield, something not too far away but fun. I came across the Mill Creek Trail but could not find a lot of information about it for horse riding. My wife and I decided to explore this trail. Here is my review.

First of all, thanks to the Backcountry Horsemen of California Kern River Valley unit for maintaining this trail. They have done an excellent job.

This trail ride is a beautiful ride that is mostly a gradual climb over the long haul. I would classify it as a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 in difficulty. Although the trail is well-maintained there are parts where your horse must step very carefully around rocks and maneuver other obstacles, including crossing the Mill Creek several times. The trail is a multi use trail, shared by hikers, bikers, and horses. Motorized vehicles are not allowed… But we did see one hunter returning down the trail on a small motorcycle. Cattle also roam the area as evidenced by their sleeping areas and droppings.

The trail head begins off of Kern Valley Road. Google maps will take you right to it if you enter “Mill Creek Trail Head” (shows up as Porterville). The drive up the Kern River Canyon with a horse trailer is precarious, so take your time completing the 27 miles up the canyon to Kern Valley Road. Be polite with traffic behind you. I had to pull off several times to let faster moving traffic pass. There is not a lot of parking space at the trail head. The best place to park a trailer is directly in front of the trail head sign. (See photo of parking situation.) I was not able to turn around with my trailer at the trail when we left and had to drive up Kern Valley Road until finding a larger turn out.

Once saddled up, we started the trail. The first switchbacks may be a little steep and on the side of steep hill slopes but don’t worry… Most of the trail is not like this. After you get around the first hill, you will arrive at a gate. The barbed wire gate for horses is to the left of the hikers gate. You will have to get off your horse to open and close it. From then on just follow the trail. The ride is beautiful and very quiet among Scrub Oak trees, granite boulders and at times is completely in the shade of Mill Creek.

My wife and I only rode about 1.5 miles in and then back out which took about 2.5 hours at a leisurely pace. The entire trail continues for approximately 7 miles up to Squirrel Meadow and Breckenridge Road. I can’t imagine doing the entire ride in one day unless your horse is in super mountain shape. As you can see from the photo of the satellite image with the pins on the trail, this trail basically climbs the mountain all the way to the top. I suppose you could trailer in your horses to Squirrel Meadow and ride down the mountain much more easily if you had someone meet you and pick you up.

If you are looking for a beautiful mountain ride close to Bakersfield and have some experience with trail obstacles, this is definitely worthy of your time.

hiking
10 days ago

definitely worth the hike. Trail is actually closer to 14.5 out and back. I underestimated the incline past mile marker 3 so wasn't able to reach the summit before I had turn back to make it back down before dark.

hiking
1 month ago

4 months ago

Good trail. Gets very hot in summer tho, so early hikes are best

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Really nice hike. Everything was green and there were a lot of wild flowers. The trail is a lot longer than 11 miles. I noticed when checked all trails and I was way past the tracking on the map. It keeps going, but I didn't go all of the way because it was getting late. I ended up doing 14.5 miles round trip.

6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

I went the Full 7.5 miles to the top and its a Tale of two trails. The vertical gain is brutal the last half and you gain almost 4500 feet in those 7.5 miles With over 650 feet of gain a mile its a great work out and i was training with a 25# pack.
The 1st half of the Trail is pleasant shading at trimes and fun creek crossings, the only bummer was the Cows and that SMELL, kind of ruins things, but better cows than humans and i saw none of those, the last half of the trail there are no cows or sign or smell of cows and you can smell the big trees that are now dominating the trail, the fun part as you get sore and tired is the trail keeps getting better and better with every step and you just have to keep going, and the Meadow at the top is very nice.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice hike. I brought my fiancé and our German Shepard puppy. We went 4-1/2 miles up then down. Took about 2 1/2 hrs in and 2 hours out with a couple rest stops.

6 months ago

very nice, liked it. Went in Spring, probably be very hot in the summer time

hiking
6 months ago

Really nice trail. Not too many folks on it, but be mindful of the cows!
LOTS of poison oak. Also saw a Gardner snake. Love all the stream crossings.

hiking
6 months ago

Great Trail to go on. My Lab loves walking on this trail. I took my 5 year old daughter on an overnighter and she did great. I found some beer cans at the first stream crossing. Please make sure to pack your trash out so this trail stays pristine.

6 months ago

I love this trail, the views from the trail are amazing!

7 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Fantastic trail close to home. Can be an excellent day hike, or a 1-nighter. I hiked about 6 miles (3 miles out & 3 back). With all the rain this year, and good snow pack up on Breckenridge, the water crossings were not easy little trickles. They were raging. But nothing too major. I took my mutt as I am trying to get her used to hiking. With a dog, the only negative about this trail--for me-- is that cattle guards are something we haven't found a creative & effective solution for.

8 months ago

This was a great, family-friendly trail. The water is high right now. There were some areas that we had to search for the best way to cross the stream. Or you could take the easy, freezing way and walk straight through! Next time, I'm wearing my water sandals. Watch out for the cows! They like to give people the evil eye! I would definitely come back:)

hiking
9 months ago